nedohinThis Week at the Olympic Curling Trials in Canada

Puck purists dislike the shootout because it’s a skills contest at the end of a hockey game.

But this week at the Olympic curling trials, the cumulative result of a skills contest held before each game has sent Ottawa’s Rachel Homan to the semi-final of the Roar Of The Rings.

Homan beat Saskatoon’s Stefanie Lawton 6-5 on Thursday to finish the round-robin at 4-3, tied for second with Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, Ont., and Winnipeg’s Chelsea Carey — behind Jennifer Jones, who was 6-1 and goes directly to Saturday night’s final.

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But because the three 4-3 teams each had a win and a loss against the other two, the results of their pre-game draws to the button were totalled and used to break the tie.

It’s complicated, but as briefly as possible: before every game, one member of each team throws a draw and the rink with the closer stone to the button gets last rock in the first end.Each member of the team must throw at least once over the course of the seven-game round-robin, and the best six throws count toward the team’s cumulative measured distance in the event of an unbreakable three-team tie.

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